In case you haven't heard, a little local band called Fleet Foxes will release Helplessness Blues, their second full-length, today on Sub Pop, a release date that coincides with the second of two sold-out-for-months shows at the Moore Theatre.
Luckily, for fans of folk-influenced singer-songwriters, there's another option: Jessica Lea Mayfield will bring her stripped-down take on folk-rock to the Tractor tonight. Mayfield is touring in support of Tell Me, her Dan Auerbach-produced sophomore album, which, according to Mike Seely in this week's Short List, falls short of her debut:
Her sophomore release, while nowhere near bad ("Sometimes at Night" is as strong a track as she's ever recorded), doesn't come close to measuring up to her enthralling debut. In fairness, she set the bar pretty high for herself, and whatever Tell Me's shortcomings, they haven't stopped peers (Band of Horses, Ray LaMontagne, Justin Townes Earle) and press (NPR, Rolling Stone, SPIN) from bending over backwards to praise the effort, probably because they didn't give her superior debut, With Blasphemy So Heartfelt, its proper due.
Regardless of how the new album stacks up, Mayfield's show tonight is still an opportunity to catch an young artist on the rise--the 21-year-old will be opening for the Avett Brothers on their summer tour, including their July 15 stop in Everett. At the very least, for the majority of us, the concert could be seen as a way to make up for missing out on the Fleet Foxes action.
The 21-and-over show starts at 9 p.m., and tickets cost $12.